Child Safety Account (CSA) May Protect Children from Bullying
In Michigan, over 20% of high-school students reported bullying at school. Almost 9% of Michigan high school students did not go to school because they felt unsafe due to bullying. Yet students in the state struggle to transfer schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A victim of bullying may transfer only if their current school meets the state definition of “persistently dangerous.” According to a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Michigan’s definition is so narrow that no public school has ever been deemed persistently dangerous. Harassment, intimidation, and bullying is devastating for victims. Students may skip school because they feel unsafe and/or seriously consider suicide. Bullying may also hinder other students’ learning and increase feelings of helplessness. A Child Safety Account (CSA) is a state-funded education savings account that could be used to empower parents to transfer their children to a safe school. The new school may either be within or beyond their designated public-school districts. The money in the CSA could be used to pay tuition at private, parochial, charter, virtual or home schools. The funds may also cover the cost of tutoring, online classes, textbooks, and therapy.